Joyce Carol Oates, a critically acclaimed story teller of our time, now with her new novel “Man Crazy” is ready to amaze us for the last time with her unique style of writing. Man Crazy, unlike the traditional kind of novel, will surely suite one person’s taste of thrill, suspense, and excitement. The novel showed some of the darkest side of being a woman. It is depressing in a way but will truly catch your emotion, you will be stunned, astonished, and will be surprised of new discoveries in human behaviors. The author used the main character, Ingrid Boone, to show what most women experienced in their every day life.
Most part of the novel will make you uneasy, it is a collection of horrifying, sickening, and traumatic events in a women’s life. Through this unusual style of writing, the author was able to unmasked several mysteries residing in every man, especially women. Female reader will surely relate their experiences to what the main character have experienced in the novel. In our time where women are given equal rights, the novel contents are shocking in a way because it showed that women are still abused intentionally or unintentionally in our society.
The story sets on the city of New York where a young and beautiful mother named Chloe Boone with her daughter Ingrid are hiding from a vet veteran Luke. Luke is Ingrid’s father who has been abusive to Chloe. Since they left Luke, Ingrid have been longing for a love of a father. Growing without a father, seeing her mother work to death as a prostitute, and living a miserable life without true friends, Ingrid have become destructive to herself to overcome her misfortune in life. She looks at her self as the ugliest person in the world that is why she do unusual things just to change her appearance.
There have been too much scratching, too much picking of pimples, and other things which almost destroyed her young body. Deprived of man’s love, that what’s Ingrid is that is why she let different boys to abuse her through sex, drugs, and alcohols. Even the satanic cult has passed through her life that almost led her to her death. The cult abused her in ways hard to imagine. She has been raped, beaten, starved, and left to die. These traumatic events have led her to spend two years in rehabilitation. There, she has found the love she has been looking for.
She has found it in one the psychiatrist who attended to her therapy. After her sad journey to life, Ingrid has been able to continue living and heal her broken heart. “It’s the men who treat you like shit you’re crazy for. For only they can tell you your punishment is just. ” and “This is not the testimony I would give to the police, and at the trial. This is the secret testimony only you may know. ” excerpt from the novel which clearly tells you what the author wants the reader to learn in her novel. (Muldoon)
Ingrid, the main character, is the “tick”. Like the tick, Ingrid is full of insecurities; she is ugly as a tick. Like a tick, she suffers discriminations; she lives in a harsh world. Her transformation is caused by her environment. People around her as well as the events happening have caused her to become what she is. She is molded by violent and unfair world but that the same world has help her recovered and lived life as the others do. To sum up, the novel is entertaining, shocking, and worth reading.
Most critique will agree that the piece showed Oates’ expertise, passion, and superb talent. It is evident in the novel how the author becomes unconventional in her own ways. She has a very deep expression on women and their experiences. The author, with her craft, has truly made an impression that novel has many faces. She took the risk of having this story be the tool to expose women’s deepest secret. This secret is hunting them but through this novel, they have the chance to face it and admit to themselves that such things really happen in life.
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